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Sheriff struck by Israel’s security measures

An Israeli bomb technician briefs Canadian County Sheriff Chris West and other members of a U.S. law enforcement delegation about rockets fired into Israeli from the Gaza Strip. Photo/Chris Eversole

Canadian County Sheriff Chris West gained a new appreciation for the safety that Americans enjoy while on a recent trip to Israel.
“In the U.S., we aren’t surrounded by people who want to kill us,” West said.
“The Israelis definitely face some unique challenges we don’t have in the United States, and I was very impressed by how they deal with them,” he said.
West was in Israel from Dec. 8-17 in his capacity as a board member of the National Sheriffs’ Association and a member of its Border Security Committee.
The Jewish Institute for the National Security of America sponsored the trip.
In addition to sheriffs, the group West traveled with included representatives of police departments and federal law enforcement agencies.
The threats West learned about included those from rocket attacks from terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank (which Jordan occupies) and Lebanon – most of which are proxies for Iran, West said.
All Israeli young people serve in the military – young women for two years and young men for three years, and everyone living in the country is vigilant about threats from neighboring countries, West said.
The Israel police are organized on a national level, unlike the various sheriff and police agencies in the U.S., creating a uniform standard nationwide, West noted.
“Everything is very professional,” he said.
West received a briefing in an area that recently had been bombed from rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
“The government pays for making repairs after attacks,” West said. “The country is unified in its defense.”

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